Senior Gujarat IPS officer Rajkumar Pandian, who is an accused in the infamous Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, found himself in the dock on Monday when a local television news channel filmed him moving into his house for an apparent night stay when he was supposed to be in judicial custody.
Mr. Pandian, a 1996 batch suspended IPS officer, was arrested in 2007. About six months ago he was shifted to a Mumbai jail after the Supreme Court ordered that the trial be held outside Gujarat. He arrived here on Sunday evening for a hearing in the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case.
The news channel filmed him taking a private car from the railway station and proceeding to the government circuit house, where he was supposed to be officially put up for the night.
However, from the circuit house, Mr. Pandian took the car and went to his home in the Prahladnagar area, where he reportedly spent the night.
On Monday morning, as he left his home, Mr. Pandian was intercepted by the television crew. He fled from the spot and was later found at the local court with police escort. There have been allegations that police officers arrested in fake encounter cases were being given VIP treatment, but this is the first time that it has been caught on camera.
The incident comes on the heels of the CBI accusing the Gujarat government of shielding another policeman accused in a fake encounter case.
The agency is likely to move the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday seeking arrest warrants for senior IPS officer and Additional Director-General of State CID P.P. Pande for his alleged involvement in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
Earlier, a CBI court in Ahmedabad rejected plea for Mr. Pande’s arrest warrant. The agency told the court Mr. Pande, who has been on sick leave , had failed to turn up despite being summoned twice government maintains it has no idea about his whereabouts.